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It's nice to be recognized

February 1, 2010 - Chuck Hunt
Last week was the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention. I have attended a lot of them, since my first one in 1971. Most all have been fun, entertaining and educational. This one was no exception. There are sessions which give tips on news writing, photography, layout and design, advertising and more. There are lunches with interesting speakers, which this year included Dan Buettner explaining Blue Zones, where people live longer and healthier, as well as an experiment on longevity in Albert Lea. In addiditon, there is an awards banquet where winners in the annual Better Newspaper Contest are announced. The Register won three awards this year, and we are pretty pleased about it. Our sports photographer, Kevin Mertens won a first place in Sports Photography for his shot of Mat Willner with arms upraised in victory at the State Meet. I picked up a second place award in Feature Photography for a photo of several kids looking at a bug - Vern the Walking Stick. And, the Register won a second place for a Circulation Promotion, involving tying into area town festivals. The great thing about the circulation award is that the catagory involves every newspaper in the state, big and small, weekly and daily. Only two awards, a first and second place, were given. So, that is quite an honor. The other catagories are broken into groups of small weeklies, large weeklies, and dailies. Each year there are between 3,000 and 4,000 entries. So to win an award is quite an honor, and we are proud of the fact our staff is able to accomplish this feat each year. One other event at the convention is worth noting. There was a gubernatorial debate the opening night of the convention. There were 19 of the 20-plus candidates running for governor who were in attendance. Maybe you saw mention of this in a daily newspaper, or on the television news. They were all there covering it. The candidates were all seated up front - all 19 of them. The moderator said it looked like a telethon. It didn't take long to see there were some who have a chance of getting a nomination, and a lot of them who do not. Some were downright strange. Many of them failed to give a direct answer to the questions, and instead spouted an obviously rehearsed plank in their platform. My favorite was Ole Saviour, a perennial candidate. His big push? A new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. He was even wearing a purple Vikings T-shirt and a purple leather Vikings jacket. Anything for a few votes.

 
 

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